Thomas Tuchel.

PSG team news before United clash

Monday 19 October 2020 15:08

Paris Saint-Germain will be missing several key players for Manchester United's Champions League group-stage opener on Tuesday.

Boss Thomas Tuchel addressed the media on Monday afternoon and revealed that forward Mauro Icardi – who has netted twice in four games for the Parisians this season – will sit out the clash at the Parc des Princes.

The Argentinian front-man picked up a knee-ligament injury during training last week and hasn’t recovered in time for the visit of United. PSG also have a problem in midfield, as Marco Verratti is out with a quadriceps issue, while Leandro Paredes was injured during Friday’s 4-0 win over Nimes in Ligue 1.

The French champions’ starting full-backs from last season’s final, Thilo Kehrer and Juan Bernat, are also out.

There is, however, some good news for the hosts as captain Marquinhos and German playmaker Julian Draxler are set to train on Monday in preparation for the game.

Tuchel confirmed former United man Angel di Maria and full-back Layvin Kurzawa are available. The pair have been missing in recent weeks after serving domestic suspensions.

“For my team, today we are expecting Marquinhos and Draxler to start practice with us after the press conference and we hope they’ll be able to play with us,” said Tuchel.

“Verratti will be missing, as will Icardi, Paredes, Kehrer and Bernat.”

Tuchel was in charge of PSG when United completed a miraculous comeback to reach the quarter-finals of this competition in March 2019.

He feels the Reds have grown in stature and character since then, and thinks our midfield personnel and counter-attacking abilities will pose particular threats.

“The team has changed a lot. They are confident, they have more experience. As far as Paul Pogba is concerned, he’s a key player. He’s one of the best midfielders in the world.

“[Bruno] Fernandes is also key. He’s got a lot of assists and is delivering a lot. He can deliver to players like [Anthony] Martial and other fast, attacking players.

“It’s one of the best teams in transition so we have to try and stop all these fast breaks.”

The German also gave his thoughts on the Reds’ new boy Edinson Cavani, who scored a record 200 goals for Tuesday's opponents.

“[United] have got a great personality,” added Tuchel. “As with many players, Edi is very polite, he’s a bit shy. He’s a hard, hard worker. He will be there in every training, first minute until last. Every game, first second until last. You can totally rely on him.

“Like I said, with the real strikers, he is a sensitive guy. Like all of them, he is living for goals, for scoring. When he scores, he has a bit of confidence. He is one of the great number nines in world football.

“It’s clear if you play for so long at a club like ours and have such a connection with the fans, you have character and deserve all this appreciation." 

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